Welcome to Open House -- 08 Sept. 2011 -- 6:00 PM

Hello everyone!  We're glad you're here tonight!

(Or, if you're not here tonight... because you weren't able to make it.... or because it's no longer Thursday, September 8, 2011... we're still glad you're reading this blog-post!)

We'd like to officially welcome you to Marshall Magnet School 2011-2012.

Since this is my first year as your principal, in order to make some sort of introduction of myself personally, I'd like to submit this: a little video I made.  I originally created it a year ago, at the beginning of my first year here at Marshall, to introduce myself to my new fifth-grade students.  But I updated it ever-so-slightly recently, so I could show it to you tonight...

What the video doesn't tell you are the things most fifth-graders wouldn't care to know, but you might.  Such as:
  • I've lived in Arizona all  my life, and in Flagstaff for 20 years. 
  • I come from a long line of school teachers; my great-grandmother was the first schoolteacher in Scottsdale, where I was born some 44 years ago.  My mom, my grandma, my great-aunt, both my brothers, and all of our wives have all also been school teachers at one time or another as well.
  • I've got a BA from Arizona State in journalism and a Masters in Educational Leadership from NAU.  
  • I'm at the beginning of my 19th year working for FUSD.  
  • For the past 18 years, I've been a classroom teacher, in the fourth and fifth grades, at both Christensen and Marshall.  
  • This is my first year working as an administrator.  
  • I'm very excited to have been given the opportunity to be your interim principal at Marshall this year.
But enough about me.  Let's talk about Marshall.  I love working at Marshall School!  I think the people I work with here are incredible. I think our programs are exciting, unique, and innovative.  I think our students truly are exception and inspired, forever.  In a nutshell: I honestly believe our school to be the very best among FUSD's excellent schools.

Tax Credit
One of the things I'd like to discuss with you tonight is how Marshall is able to do what it does.  As you walked in this evening, you hopefully received a small handout. [download .pdf].  Inside you can read about many of our special programs and how we work diligently as a staff to secure grant monies and Arizona Tax Credit contributions to support our unique programs here at Marshall.

As you take a look at the handout along with me, you'll see: Marshall has been hard at work, for over a decade, improving and enhancing its unique Arts and Science magnet programs.  And Tax Credit contributions, to a great degree, make these programs possible.  There's a drop-out flyer in the brochure (download .pdf) that explains how Arizona's Tax Credit program works to support public schools in our state.  Please have a look at it later.

What we want to make sure you understand about Tax Credit contributions tonight is simple: Any individual who works in the state and pays any payroll or other taxes to the State Department of Revenue bears a tax burden, a tax liability, to the state.  Even if you typically receive a refund, you still paid taxes to the state.  Arizona's Tax Credit program allows you to offset the taxes you will otherwise pay to the state with a dollar-for-dollar credit when you give that money to your local public school instead.  Single taxpayers may give up to $200, married taxpayers up to $400 to support extracurricular programs at Marshall.  Your contributions can be given in any increment, over any period of time during the tax year, and need not be given all at once.  Your contributions, likewise, need not add up to the maximum amount throughout the year.  Regardless of how much you give, all contributions must be received by December 31 in order to be applied to your upcoming tax return.  If you have questions about any of this, please contact us [928-773-4030].  Janelle Reasor is our resident expert, but we're all happy to help.

The Marshall Way
We've worked hard to do our best to ensure your child's safety and well-being while they're here with us during the school day.

When it comes to getting to and from school, we'd like to ask that you review this map (at right) and use only the lot across the street, to the west of the school, for drop-off and pick-up.  Using the red zone along Bonito Street is dangerous.  Using the yellow zone creates conflicts with the buses.  Using the alley-way north of the school creates snarls at dismissal time, too.

Bottom line: We're all set up to help your child get safely across the street, with crosswalks and crossing-guards in-place, both before and after school. We'd really like to encourage you to use them.

Get Involved
Perhaps you've already signed up with the PTO.  They're out in the hall tonight.  If not, we'd like to encourage you to consider joining this incredible group before you leave tonight.  It's no exaggeration to say: Marshall has the best, most hard-working PTO in the city.  And without this active, involved, essential group of parent-leaders, Marshall would not, could not, be the awesome learning place it has become.  We're so fortunate to have them.  We're so grateful for all that they do.  And we'd just like to give them the props they deserve tonight: THANKS MARSHALL PTO!!!  We couldn't to what we do without you.

On a similar note, our Marshall School Councils, Site, Arts, and Science, also play a crucial role here at our school.  Sign-ups are in place in the hall for each of these groups tonight as well.  If you're interested in getting involved at your child's school this year, these groups are a great place to start.

All of these groups will gather together for the first time on September 14 at 5:00 PM. We hope to have you join us.

Keep In Touch
Finally, there's just one final thing we'd like to mention, while we have you.  Please keep in touch!  We've tried to make it as simple as possible to keep up-to-date with what we've got going on around here.

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